I took part in this event last year, and wrote: “It’s tough to find a good 10K event at this time of year, especially one of this size, and the winter theme sounded fun and unique, so I jumped at the chance to take part. There were marshals dressed as polar bears, fake snow to run through, good photography, an excellent bespoke medal, and free coconut milk and water for finishers. The course was flat and differed from other London runs. However, organisation of the start shutes was non-existent; runners were supposed to go into timed corrals but everyone ended up muddled in together as and when they arrived, so you’d get very slow runners at the start. Corrals were let go gradually and there was a long wait in-between each release. This was the first run of its kind though, so it was a good effort and a fun event – I’d recommend it to others!
I didn’t necessarily plan to take part again, as once I’ve taken part in an event, I like to move on and try others. However, I haven’t participated in a running event since the Royal Parks half marathon in October, and I was longing for the atmosphere and the excitement. As my previous review states; it’s hard to find a running event at this time of year, especially one of this size. So, I spontaneously signed up to the London Winter Run a week or two before the event, and received my pack through the post just the day prior (eeek!). On arrival, I got a bit lost as the signs for the toilets/start/baggage weren’t immediately obvious, and the starting and finishing points had been changed from last year’s event. The warm up was enthusiastic and the MCs kept us amused; however the starting corrals experienced the same problem at last year with no colour coding and no basic organisation. We were supposed to be in timed corrals, but I had no idea where one corral started and where the next began; it wasn’t clear and we were all bunched in together.
The route was different to last year, but still took in some lovely sights. I personally enjoy running around London as there’s so much to see, and such a great atmosphere. Despite the consistent dreary rain, moods were high and there were a few fake snow machines to run through, volunteers dressed as snowmen, and volunteers ringing huge Switzerland-style bells en-route. Someone was supposed to be dressed as a St Bernard en-route but was just standing there holding the dog head in her hand with only the bottom half of the costume on (it must have been hot in there?!).
The home-stretch was lined with supporters, and the medal is bespoke and absolutely gorgeous. However, although there were lovely volunteers handing them out, there were boxes of medals just sitting behind them on the street, and I witnessed two people picking up spares. This makes me so angry and I’ll no doubt see them on eBay later!
It’s a lovely fun event with a lot of promise, although the London Winter Run could certainly take some constructive feedback on board, especially if it aims to be as big as the Bupa 10,000 for example. The starting pens and timed corals really need some work, and the price (£47) was steep for just a medal. Again, the Bupa 10,000 is almost half that cost and includes a t-shirt and an impressive goody-bag.
Overall, I enjoyed the event and I’m glad I took part; it was great to be at a running event again and soak up the atmosphere. The official race photography is excellent, too!